The Philadelphia Flyers have replaced captain Claude Giroud, who recently played his 1,000th career game with the franchise, to the Florida Panthers, sources told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan Saturday.
The Flyers’ return package will include a redirection of Owen Tibbett, according to sources.
Giroux, 34, is a suspended unrestricted free agent and was expected to be transferred before the NHL trade deadline of March 21. He had to waive the no-motion clause that was part of his $66.2 million eight-year contract.
The Colorado Avalanche and the Boston Bruins were also in the Giro mix, with sources telling Kaplan that the Florida show was “aggressive, [but] Not as aggressive as Boston or Colorado.”
Now that the Panthers have won, Jiro can enter next to the center of Florida superstar Alexander Barkov and take the attack of the already powerful Panthers a notch even higher. In addition, Giroux is one of the best front-runners in the league with 60.9%.
Florida enters play Saturday night with the second-best NHL record at 42-14-6, and has been one of the league’s most dominant clubs all season.
It would be a clear change of pace for Giroux, given the bad year Philadelphia is having. The Airmen (19-31-11) are tied for last position in the Capital Division and appear to be heading toward significant organizational reform. But Giroud has individually shown that he is still a valuable commodity with 18 goals and 42 points in 57 games.
What will also be new for Giroud is playing for a team other than Philadelphia. He’s spent his entire career with the club since being drafted to 22nd overall in 2006, joining Hall of Famer and two-time Stanley Cup champion Bobby Clark on Thursday as the only players to make his entire 1,000 appearances with the Flyers.
Clarke presented Giroud the silver wand to mark the occasion, and his teammates gave him a Rolex and an NHL Crystal. Giroud also played 85 playoff games in Philadelphia.
“The fans, the organisation, my team-mates have been very good to me for many years and that’s one of the reasons why I felt emotional after the match,” Giroud said.
It was a healthy scratch for the Flyers on Friday night in Ottawa, where the organization screened several suitors.
Giroux has 900 career path points and is 8th on the Flyers career list with 291 goals. He helped the Flyers reach the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals and was named the All-Star Player of the Season.
Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.